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JD
JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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If you had pleated guilty to a bail jumping charge

Customer Question

If you had pleated guilty to a bail jumping charge because you were npt given all your options and have been sentenced to prison can you change your plea? is there anything we can do to get him out?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to withdraw a plea after it has been entered. This is because a judge, before accepting a plea, goes through a series of questions with the defendant to ensure they understand the charge(s), understand they are waiving their rights to a trial, were not forced to accept the plea, accept it knowingly and voluntarily, etc. You would need to have an attorney file a motion to withdrawal the plea. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether to accept it or not -here, it sounds like the best argument to make would be that there was ineffective assistance of counsel and the defendant didn't understand what he was doing when he accepted the plea. I'm not sure what you mean by the public defender wouldn't cooperate, however - I would suggest talking to another criminal defense lawyer for assistance.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My Fiancee was falsly accused of Rape, at the beginning of the trial i posted the Pre-trial date wrong, we were told we missed so we went to court and had the warrent fixed and his Bail was not revoked, we thought all was taken care of, after the Rape charges were dismissed we were told he had to do 13 months in prison for the bail jumping charge, we couldn't believe it but our Public Attorney said thats the law and he has to do it, she never gave us any options. We hired another Attorney and he went to the sentenceing one with us and asked the judge to we need time to file the motion to withdrawl the guilty plea and he said that my fiancee will have to be in jail while he is working on the case. The new Attorney was trying to work with our old Public Attorney and he said she would not cooroperate and he felt with out her he could not file our mmotion to withrawl the guilty plea. I have been calling around but can't find anyone to take the case, but still trying because we feel he should not be their.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 4 years ago.
I'm going to opt out and open this question up to other legal experts. You haven't been charged.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thats what I've been told by other people.

Thank you for your time

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

A couple of questions...

 

1) Did your boyfriend plea guilty to bail jumping after a plea bargain was offered (a promised sentence) or was he asking the judge to decide the sentence?

 

2) When the plea was entered, did the judge explain your boyfriend's right to have a trial by jury and his right to have his lawyer present during this trial?

 

3) I realize the result was not the one you desired, but how do you feel the public defender or lawyer misled (what options do you feel were omitted) your boyfriend during the representation?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1) No the Verbatim report says "I want to let the court know that this is a plea agreement but it's not really a plea bargain" we were just told he had to do this and there is no otheer way. We were not given anyother options.

2) we had a new Attorney there (we hired one) the judge asked "Do you understand the rights you are giving up by pleading guilty?" he said yes and are you pleading guilty freely and voluntarily?" he said yes, because we were told by are old Attorney that we had no other options.

3) We feel we were misled because she didn't give any options and we feel it should not have been charged with bail jumping if he took care of the warrent and never had his bail revoked.

 

 

 

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

I agree with the prior expert that it is very difficult to set aside a guilty plea. Possibilities include:

 

1. Motion to set aside guilty plea as being involuntarily entered... showing that your boyfriend's plea was involuntarily entered due to misinformation.

 

2. Petition for post conviction relief or other motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. Every person is constitutionally guaranteed the assistance of counsel in a criminal proceeding. If his attorney fell below the appropriate standard of care, then your boyfriend's constitutional rights were not protected and his plea would be set aside.

 

These are difficult options and rarely successful. However... those are the options.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been told that, do you think we should proceed to finding another Attorney? hearing a lot of the facts do you think we have a chance?
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

I do think you should find an attorney. If you are unsatisfied with the latest attorney then seek another. This is nearly impossible to accomplish with an attorney... it is completely impossible to accomplish without one.

 

Do you have a chance? It depends. I would never tell you there is no chance... but it really is difficult to get a plea deal set aside. As has been said earlier the judges go through a list of questions specifically designed to lock in pleas and make them nearly bullet proof. The reason the judges ask all of those questions is so that there can be no challenges to the plea later....

 

Your chances will depend on a few things.

 

1) what the traditional sentence has been in that court for someone facing similar charges and how your boyfriend's sentence compared

 

2) what your boyfriend specifically says in court concerning his attorney-client communications regarding the "deal"

 

3) your boyfriend's experience in the system and his knowledge of his rights

 

4) what your boyfriend's attorney(s) say in court concerning the communications about the "deal"

 

5) what the judge recalls and how well the record of the "deal" was preserved

 

The factors will go on and on. Ultimately if it appears your boyfriend was advised of all his rights and the sentence is not out of line with others facing the same charge then I'd say your chances are slim. But there is always the possibility and certainly local counsel can give you a better idea of his best chances.

 

Good luck.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, one more question

To be charged with Bail Jumping don't you have to meet all criteria's? we feel he did not meet them because:

 

1) He's Bail was not Revoked

2) The warrant was quashed

 

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

In order to sustain a criminal charge the state must prove each element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. You get the elements from the statute... this tells you exactly what the state must prove in order to convict someone of a crime. Here is the Washington Bail Jumping statute...

 

Washington Revised Code RCW 9A.76.170: Bail jumping.

(1) Any person having been released by court order or admitted to bail with knowledge of the requirement of a subsequent personal appearance before any court of this state, or of the requirement to report to a correctional facility for service of sentence, and who fails to appear or who fails to surrender for service of sentence as required is guilty of bail jumping.

(2) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that uncontrollable circumstances prevented the person from appearing or surrendering, and that the person did not contribute to the creation of such circumstances in reckless disregard of the requirement to appear or surrender, and that the person appeared or surrendered as soon as such circumstances ceased to exist.

(3) Bail jumping is:

(a) A class A felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of murder in the first degree;

(b) A class B felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class A felony other than murder in the first degree;

(c) A class C felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class B or class C felony;

(d) A misdemeanor if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor.

 

.................................

 

I see no requirement that the state must prove his bail was revoked or the capias (warrant) was maintained. In other words, the court may have set aside the forfeiture because of the court date mix up but criminal charges could proceed.

 

________________________

JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
JD and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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